GAHANNA – No doubt Granville knows how to pace itself.
The Blue Aces had a strong Division II sectional meet Saturday, and they are right on schedule for another memorable finish. Senior Abby Stone was a part of three victories at Columbus Academy as the Granville girls finished runners-up to the host Vikings in the team standings.
“A thing we look at is how we did last year versus this year,” Stone said. “Personally, I was either right on my times from this meet last year or a little bit faster, and I think the team for the most part was faster than they were last year at this point in the season so that’s really encouraging to see.”
Stone’s titles in the 200 individual medley (2:07.47) and 100 backstroke (57.23) earned her automatic qualification to Friday’s district meet at Ohio University, and she will have plenty of company after at-large berths are handed out later in the weekend.
Timmy Spichiger duplicated Stone’s efforts for the boys team as he also was a part of three victories to help the Blue Aces to a runner-up finish behind Academy.
Stone’s victory in the 200 IM was a meet and pool record. She also joined classmates Paige Griesse and Maggie McGonagle and freshman Sarah Martin in winning Granville’s signature 200 medley relay (1:54.89).
“We haven’t swam the medley relay the four of us together that many times, so each time we swim it together it gets better and better,” Stone said. “We get used to each other swimming in and doing relay starts off each other. We are in a pretty good spot. We are happy with where we are.”
Rose Amore of Newark Catholic swims the breast stroke in the medley relay at the Division II sectional meet. Granville won the race and will be moving onto districts.
The same foursome placed second in the 400 free relay (3:44.25), and Martin had a pair of runner-up finishes in the 100 butterfly (1:01.67) and 200 free (2:02.67). Griesse placed third in the 50 free (55.90) and fifth in the 200 free (2:05.76), and the 200 free relay was fourth (1:52.99).
Spichiger won the 200 free (1:51.23) and 500 free (5:06.62) despite feeling the effects of some recent difficult practices. The Blue Aces continue to train with an eye toward the state meet Feb. 26-27.
“We are still doing some aerobic work, so I am not completely 100 percent recovered,” Spichiger said. “As you could see in my swims, I kind of died a little bit. I went out fast enough, but I can’t bring it back. It was alright.”
Academy’s pool tends to yield slow times. It should be smoother sailing Friday in Athens as Spichiger zeroes in on the meet record in the 500 free. His 4:51 a year ago was just four seconds off.
“Since we are still in the midst of our taper, I will still be able to gain more endurance,” Spichiger said. “Plus, I have other kids on my team that are swimming kind of in the same ballpark as I am, so that helps because I know I will be able to come back and not die at district or state.”
Spichiger, classmate Grant Stahl, junior Colin McDermott and sophomore Rowan Moore won the 200 free relay (1:37.21), and the same foursome was just edged out for the 200 medley relay title and settled for a runner-up finish (1:44.97).
Stahl won the 100 fly (53.53) and placed second in the 200 IM (2:02.90). Rowan Moore added a third in the 100 breaststroke (1:06.74), and the 400 free relay was fourth (4:08.82).